“WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST NEED?”
This was the question posed to us at the beginning of the teaching session of week 4 of the Women’s Fall Bible Study, Live Worry Free. We were asked to write our answers down. I confess, I only doodled on my paper, anticipating that my child’s school performance, sticking to my grocery budget, and many of the other items on my “worry list”, while important, were NOT the answers being sought. My assumption proved correct as we read through Mark, Chapter 2. This miraculous story of Jesus healing a paralytic man, beautifully illustrates how our greatest need is not always the most immediate, or even the most obvious need we have. We know this because, as his friends brought the paralytic man to Jesus… “He saw their faith and said, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ ” It was obvious to everyone in the room that this man needed physical healing! He and his friends were so desperate in fact, they had bypassed the crowds of people blocking the doorways by climbing onto the roof of the building. They made a hole in the roof, and lowered the paralyzed man on a stretcher to the Healer’s feet. When Jesus saw him, he was not nearly as concerned about his physical needs as he was about his spiritual needs. This man, needed forgiveness of his sins - the kind of forgiveness that only God can give. THIS was his greatest need.
Jesus did end up healing this man physically as well. The Bible says He did so, to show the teachers in the room who were questioning, that He was indeed the Son of Man, the One with the authority to heal AND to forgive sins.
The message of the lesson was this: Jesus already knows our greatest need; and He gives us blessed assurance that if we have faith in Him as our savior, that our sins will be forgiven as well. Sure, He may choose to put someone in my child’s life to motivate him to take more of an interest in reading or he may give me the discipline to stick to my budget, but these are earthly inconveniences. Even when our needs are much more serious, like those of the paralyzed man, they are temporary, and therefore secondary, in light of us accepting His invitation to have our sins forgiven and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
There are a few more weeks to go in this study. An upcoming week will focus on the question that naturally follows this lesson. “Why does God choose to answer some needs in this life but not others?” It’s a question we all ponder at some point. I am excited to explore this further and talk about it with the other ladies in my discussion group. Each week after worship, the Bible lesson, and discussion groups, I come away understanding more about God’s love for us; and feeling encouraged by the connection with other women and sisters in Christ.
Tricia Garber | Guest Contributor